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Old 06-08-2013, 11:51 AM   #19
ReNew Me
High Fat/Low Carb=Happy!
 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 286

Height: 5'9" Age: 50

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I'm coming at this from a different perspective than the other posters. You have beautiful arms/shoulders, and I can tell you've worked hard to get them, and worked right (at least at the time). I can also see you're very, very lean. I have a long history of weight training (20+ years). I hate to tell you but you have reached the stage where you won't be able to build muscle unless you're eating about 250 to 500 calories over maintenance. If you want to bulk (and that's what you want if you want to add muscle), you have to gain some weight, which must include fat.

From a purely physiological perspective, muscle is calorically wasteful tissue (one lb. of muscle actually burns more calories than one lb. of fat). If your body perceives itself as not having sufficient calories to spare you will not gain muscle and in fact -- especially with harder work and same intake -- you actually may start tearing down your muscle tissue if you're eating just at or slightly below maintenance.

There is a honeymoon period when a person starts lifting weights seriously, for most people it lasts somewhere between six months and one year, where you can actually lose weight and gain muscle. It's a one time only phenomenon. Thereafter you have to go through bulk/cut phases.

The general rule of thumb to bulk is macros (grams of protein/fat/carbs) in a 40/30/30 ratio, food super clean, and about 13 to 15 x bodyweight in calories. Basically, since you weigh 116 you'd start eating 1508 calories broken down as 150 grams of protein, 113 grams of carbs and 50 grams of fat ideally eaten in four or five small meals/snacks throughout the day. You'd monitor your progress through measurements, mirror and weigh ins, making sure you're slowly and steadily gaining weight and strength. If you're not gaining at least 1/2 to 1 lb a week, up your calories. If you're gaining more than 1.5 lb a week, especially if your strength isn't going up, either cut them or change up your macros. And also you might want to think about finding a dedicated weight training board for additional exercise and diet advice (there are a few out there that are serious and not loaded with steroid muscle heads, where you can find other chicks who lift and even compete).

Incidentally, you look fantastic. I just noticed where you started and where you are now. You should be extremely proud of yourself!

Last edited by ReNew Me; 06-08-2013 at 12:09 PM.
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